Two Bosses Who Didn’t Like Each Other: Lori Baker-Schena (With Bonus Episode)

Two Bosses Who Didn’t Like Each Other: Lori Baker-Schena (With Bonus Episode)

My guest for Episode #48 of “the My Favorite Mistake” podcast is Lori-Baker Schena, a professional speaker and leadership consultant based in Southern California. She has a PhD in organizational leadership and is a co-founder of the LeadHERship Consortium.

She is currently on her third career. She was a journalist and PR person, then a professor for 25 years, now she's a coach and speaker.

In our episode today, Lori tells a story about her “favorite mistake,” related to staying too long in a role where she had two different bosses who not only didn't work together well — they didn't like each other! Lori regrets that it took too long for her to realize the situation was unworkable, but she learned from it.

We talk about how people react to bad situations, how we can “ask for what we need” and why that can be difficult, especially for women. How can you be in a situation where you love what you're doing at work. I mention Rich Sheridan and Menlo Innovations, the movie “Office Space,” and the Apple TV+ Plus “Ted Lasso.” Also, how can we get past “the shame of failure” and “pivot to positivity”?

Scroll down to find:

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  • Quotes
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  • Full transcript

You can listen to or watch the episode below. A transcript also follows lower on this page. Please subscribe, rate, and review via Apple Podcasts or Podchaser! You can now sign up to get new episodes via email, to make sure you don't miss an episode. This podcast is part of the Lean Communicators network.


Check out all episodes on the My Favorite Mistake main page.

Here is a follow up bonus episode with one additional question about having two bosses, and a little more conversation on that:


Bonus Discussion:

Giveaway Contests!

Enter to win books by other “My Favorite Mistake” guests.


"...not only did I have to report to two bosses, but these two bosses didn't like each other."

"It really taught me so much about politics, about asking for what you need..."

"It's really important to pivot to the positive because it's our only choice being negative, never moved anybody forward."

"One of the biggest heartbreaks for me is the way society shames failure. If we don't fail, we never learn."

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contain Mistakes)

Mark Graban (0s):

Episode 48, Lori Baker-Schena, co-founder of the LeadHERship Consortium.

Lori Baker-Schena (9s):

So miserable Mark. I can't tell you, and I didn't realize it, but that is my favorite mistake because it launched me into my own business.

Mark Graban (21s):

I'm Graban. This is My Favorite Mistake. In this podcast, you'll hear business leaders and other really interesting people talking about their favorite mistakes, because we all make mistakes, but what matters is l earning from our mistakes instead of repeating them over and over again. So this is the place for honest reflection and conversation, personal growth and professional success. Visit our website at For show notes, links, and more, go to 48. Enter to win books by guests from this podcast at

Mark Graban (1m 3s):

Please subscribe, rate, and review, and now on with the show. Hi, welcome to My Favorite Mistake. I'm Mark Graban. We're joined today by Lori Baker-Schena. She is she well, she's on her third career, which I think is really interesting. So I'll give a little bit more of an introduction about those first two careers and what she does now, but Lori, let me first welcome you to the podcast. How are you?

Lori Baker-Schena (1m 29s):

Mark? I am great. Thank you so much for having me. And I want to say hi to your audience. They're so lucky to have you as a host, you bring such great insight to your podcast. It's just a joy to be here.

Mark Graban (1m 40s):

Oh, well, thank you. That's fair. That's very kind of you, Lori. I appreciate that. So Lori has a really interesting background and you know, you can fill in some details if you want here in a second, Lori, but career one was as a journalist and a public relations professional. Lori was then a professor for 25 years, and now she's into her third career as a coach and a speaker she's co-founded, it's called the lead her ship consortium. So there is an H E R in there, of course lead her ship consortium, LLC. She has a PhD in organizational leadership ship. That was, I don't know why that was so hard to say. So again, welcome.

Mark Graban (2m 21s):

Is there anything about your background in your multiple careers that you want to share with us, Lori?

Lori Baker-Schena (2m 26s):

Well, just the fact that we all think when we get out of school, whether it's high school or college, that we're going to have one career for the rest of our lives. And that's just a myth Mark, it's really important to realize that you are going to, you know, look God willing. You're going to live a long time and you're not going to want to stay in one career. So many of us decide that we're going to have multiple careers. So I started off as a journalist and then really kind of eased into public relations, started my own business when I was 29. And then I got a call saying that they wanted to know if I won at my university, if I wanted to an emergency hire for a professor. And I said, sure, because why not? And that ended up being a 25 year career.

Lori Baker-Schena (3m 8s):

And then I decided after about with cancer that, you know, what my real dream is to be a motivational, you know, professional speaker and a leadership coach. And I had earned a doctorate in organizational leadership. So I said, okay, so this is my third career, but it's really everything I've done. I've really enjoyed. And that's what I want to bring to people's you really need to enjoy what you're doing and if you're not enjoying it, figure out what to do next.

Mark Graban (3m 35s):

Yeah. Yeah. So maybe what we can, we'll talk about those career transitions and some of those little topics that you help people with. But first off, you know, I don't know if this story will be related to any of these career transitions or what it is, but Lori, what would you say is your favorite mistake?

Lori Baker-Schena (3m 51s):

My first and I think my second job in a big company, I was hired and they, and I had to report to two bosses and I had no idea how that would go because I was very, I was young. I think I was 27 and naive. I had not really worked in, in big companies that much. And not only did I have to report to two bosses, but these two bosses didn't like each other. And so they were competing for my time. And, and at the end of the day, I couldn't make either of them happy. And the three of us were miserable.

Lori Baker-Schena (4m 32s):

It was just a triangle of misery. And it really taught me so much about politics, about asking for what you need. And the fact of the matter is that it's very difficult in the real world to have two bosses. You know, they have the, those matrix or charged and stuff. And unless there's incredible communication and collegiality, it's destined for a difficult time. And I really, I was so miserable, Mark. I can't tell you, and I didn't realize it, but that is my favorite mistake because it, it launched me into my own, my own business because misery says, I can't, I can't do this anymore.

Lori Baker-Schena (5m 14s):

And so I ended up with my own business, but, but I, and I had no idea, no one said no one sat me down in college and said, Lori, be sure not to, you know, be hired by, in a position where you have two bosses, no one ever says that to you. And it's just wrought with dangerous. I go into the crocodile then. I mean, I can give you all sorts of analogies. It was that bad, but it's really, if it wasn't that bad, I'd still might be stuck in a corporate job. I didn't want so very, very happy, very happy.

Mark Graban (5m 41s):

So it, it, it led to at least a better outcome where you, you said, I, I'm not going to take that risk of repeating that mistake again.

Lori Baker-Schena (5m 49s):

Absolutely. And who knew, you know, w when you, when you come out of college, one of the things they never teach you is how to deal with the politics a, of a company. And that really, really struck me because so many people don't know how to handle conflict in the workplace and not understanding how to ask for what you need and how to communicate better with your boss and your colleagues. And it, you know, I had an MBA didn't help me at all. It didn't help me at all. So I ended up eventually getting a doctorate in organizational leadership because it, it was still fascinated me how dysfunctional organizations can be. And they don't know, they might understand it, but they don't know how to get out of it.

Lori Baker-Schena (6m 34s):


Mark Graban (6m 35s):

And thinking of when, you know, when you took that job, how, how quickly did you realize that this function? And did you think about getting out of it right away?

Lori Baker-Schena (6m 45s):

It took me about two months to realize that I, that I couldn't do, I didn't have, they didn't give me the time to do what I needed to do, because they were each vying for theoretical. I was split 50/50, but it never was like that someone wanted someone more than others. And then there were, the deadlines were different and, and Mark, they didn't talk to each other. So I ended up being the conduit and a 27 year old person, basically fresh out of college and MBA program. Shouldn't be a conduit. And I, if I was to do, now that I know what I know, you know, years and years later, but yeah, it took me about two months.

Lori Baker-Schena (7m 25s):

And then, and then I loved the work. So I really stayed. But then one of the people left and the other person was having issues with, you know, upper management. So it got even worse. It was just bad. And so I realized at the end of it, I'm a writer by trade. And I was so demoralized at the end of that, I, I really needed to do something. So that's why I've had wonderful mentors. And they said, you know, you have to do something else. This is not going to work for you. Or you, you can't be that miserable in a job. You just can't.

Mark Graban (8m 0s):

Yeah. And so you, you were there for about two years before you went and started a firm. How long? I'm sorry. Yeah. Two years. Yeah. I mean, it's tough when I don't know how often you end up in this situation, but, you know, you're, you're placed in a position where somebody wants a little bit of mentoring or they just want to talk about their situation. And it's, you know, it's, it's hard when you see people sort of stuck in that situation of, I want to leave or I need to leave, but I can't, you know, for, for some, one reason or another, but yeah, I think there are times where I, I think, you know, as an outside observer to a situation, and the only conclusion I can draw is you're going to have to try to find a better environment.

Mark Graban (8m 47s):

If someone's in a situation where they can't fix those dynamics of their, their boss or boss says, or, you know, the culture of the organization that they work with it.

Lori Baker-Schena (8m 59s):

Absolutely. And it's scary. It's scary to realize you're in a, in a, in a, in a tough culture and, you know, you can plant complain all you want, but that doesn't, it doesn't help the situation. And luckily it didn't, it didn't end up with the abusive. It wasn't like real abusive. It was just miserable. But I always told my students that if you're in an abusive relationship with your boss or your boss is yelling at you can't do anything, right. Quit get a job at Starbucks or something and find something else because the, your mental health is, is really, really important, especially younger people to really realize that. And, and then as you get older, you learn how to communicate with, with the boss and, and, and how to, and how to improve the situation yourself, which is another factor.

Lori Baker-Schena (9m 42s):

A lot of people can deal with that. Cause they can say, you know what, I'm going to give you 50% of my time. And the 50% else is going to the person. And this is what it looks like, but I didn't have the skills at the time nor the words. Now I can go in there and, you know, kick butt. But when you're 27, not so much. And, and so that is really to empower employees, to be able to do that. So the big lesson here is that you really need to understand where you are and what you can change and what you can't.

Mark Graban (10m 10s):

Yeah. Yeah. And I've taught some people who they're they're conflicted because they feel like maybe they're at a level where they should be able to help influence the situation and the, by removing themselves from it, they feel like they're giving up. But, you know, that's where I think, you know, that you've got to think as your loyalty to the organization or to yourself, where do you, where do you draw the line? Is it, I mean, by your vote, you're voting by continuing to, it is a choice to continue coming to work where I think it's helpful. I'm curious, your thoughts of like, you know, is this a habit? Or, I mean, yeah, I guess it is a choice. I keep coming here. There must be a reason.

Lori Baker-Schena (10m 47s):

It is a choice. And I'm, I'm big on the fact that we can't, everything we do is a choice. We wake up in the morning and this is one of my motivational speeches. We have the choice to either wake up and be really happy and joyful every day. Or we have a choice to wake up and be miserable. People like me who are cancer survivors and, or survive, you know, illnesses or all sorts of accidents. They wait, they're just happy to wake up. So that's always the win, right? So it's easy to, it's easy to choose joy, but you've got to make those decisions. And you know what ha so the question then becomes, how do you base those decisions? Will you base it on, do I have control of the situation or don't I have control, you don't have control Mark of how people act or how a boss is trained.

Lori Baker-Schena (11m 32s):

You know, people don't have the right training to be leaders and, and all the sort of, they might just have hold a grudge. They might be having a bad day, whatever, but you do have control over how you react. So figuring out how to emotionally distance yourself from this person, why you continue to work with them and perhaps look for another job. There are strategies that you can use, so you can tolerate the, but you should always think, I really believe in think of yourself and what your needs are, because if you're contributing to the company and they're really just to stay there because you're afraid to leave, you're afraid to disappoint someone or you're, you know, where you're afraid, someone's going to think less of you are not reasons to stay.

Mark Graban (12m 15s):

Yeah. So when you talk about needs, I was wondering if you could elaborate on something, you, you know, you first brought up when you were telling your story, asking for what you need. I'm sure there's, there's a lot more, you could say about that, what that means to you and how does somebody put that into action?

Lori Baker-Schena (12m 32s):

It's very difficult for people, especially women to ask for what they need. We are, we're people pleasers. We're afraid that we're going to disappoint someone. If we ask them for what we need. And we don't know how, how to ask people for what we need. So we end up not getting what we need. I'm going to give you an example of someone who wants to have a raise or a promotion. You know, I would say most times you have to ask for a raise or promotion. No, one's going to hand it to you unless you work for a magical company who really appreciates everything you do. So how do you go about asking for a raise or promotion? So I suggest after a year, year and a half, whatever you feel good at you, you, you sit down and you're obviously not being, you know, recognized for what you're doing.

Lori Baker-Schena (13m 21s):

You sit down and you write a list of accomplishments that help the company. And you titled that. What is the value that I have brought to the company? Not what the company, you know, how great I am, but what have I done to value the company? And then you sit down with your manager, you have a separate conversation and you say, I have, I've looked, I've re I've looked over my last 18 months or 12 months of work. And this is the list I've come up with the accomplishments that I've done, the value I've added. I would like a blank blank. Raise it to, to, you know, to compensate for that. I mean, you're, you're, you're, it'd be, it'd be, you want to be direct.

Lori Baker-Schena (14m 2s):

And, and a lot of times they say, I really believe, I really think you really should. And you should have to say, you know, I would like a promotion or I like a raise based on these accomplishments, having that ammunition going in. That's how you learn how to get your needs met. Or if you need your boss to communicate with your, with you more, you know what, you're not especially working from home bosses, aren't doing that enough. They're not communicating. So you say, you know, I need help in this blank blank. Like, could I please help get that help asking for what you need without shame and without guilt. And you have to be really mindful Mark of, of these sort of things.

Mark Graban (14m 46s):

And what I hear you saying is to state it directly, I need a promotion and not preface it with sort of diminishing or apologetic prefaces. This might sound dumb, but I, I end up there sometimes. Like there's people I work with where sometimes you have to pick and choose like, you know, you hear people, it's not always women, but kind of saying things that are undermining what they're saying. I'm like, you know, like, Oh, please say it more confidently because what you have is really good. You're really good. Don't apologize for what you're saying.

Lori Baker-Schena (15m 23s):

Those are so strongly. I feel that way, Mark, that those are such important observations. When I coach I am really cranky. I get, I get on people. I listen to their words very closely and I hate to say it, but women in particular will say, I know this sounds silly, or I know, I know I shouldn't be doing this. And, and, and I say to them, don't tell me, it sounds silly. Let me judge. If it's going to be silly, just say what you're going to say, get to the point with confidence and, and people. That's why one of my big hands is be mindful of how you ask for things and how you show up.

Lori Baker-Schena (16m 3s):

Also people out there, especially women stop saying, I'm sorry, just stop. Unless you're like less, you like hurt somebody like with a fist or something. It means something horrible. Don't say, I'm sorry. Just, just, just, just be and be assertive in your language. And it be confident even if you might not be feeling confident, that's, that's, self-worth really comes through, but I love what you said, Mark. You're right on the money with that.

Mark Graban (16m 31s):

Yeah. And, and I think, I mean, there's a difference between apologizing after the fact for something that really was a problem versus this kind of proactive apologetic. Why are you apologizing? If it's not a problem. Yeah, sure. It might not be a problem. That's, that's really what you're kind of cautioning against. Right?

Lori Baker-Schena (16m 50s):

Exactly. And we do it subconsciously. If someone taped you all day, how many times do you say, I'm sorry for like silly things. It's, it's, it's an interesting thing.

Mark Graban (17m 3s):

Yeah. Or if it's in Canada, how often are you saying I'm sorry, which is, that's just

Lori Baker-Schena (17m 8s):

Yes. You know, but absolutely it really is. It really is. When, if you're trying to create a personal leadership brand, you really want to show up as confident. And the first thing you have to think about is how am I presenting to the world? And the first thing you have to really remember is you deserve a raise. You deserve respect. You deserve to work in a good environment. All those things are so important.

Mark Graban (17m 37s):

Yeah. And so thinking back to the story where you had the two bosses, if you could go back and, and time and knowing what you know now or having, you know, the words or the confidence to like, how would you have asked those two different bosses for what you needed?

Lori Baker-Schena (17m 56s):

I would have let them know. First of all, I would have got all of us in a room at the same time. And I would have said, okay, I'm a hair. And what I'd like to know, I need two things from you. One, how are you going to communicate with each other concerning my time? And number two, how are you going to communicate to me and to each other, what your priorities are. And then I would ask them what it's really important, just in general, to ask your boss what your priorities, what their priorities are. And communicate often. It's just so important. A lot of people don't get that from their bosses and they feel overwhelmed. And they say to me, Lori, what am I going to do?

Lori Baker-Schena (18m 37s):

My boss has given me all this stuff to do. And it's interesting in Covid a lot of people are out of work. And so people are feeling even more overwhelmed. And what you need to say to your bosses, look, I have this much bandwidth, you know, what are your priorities that need to get done? And don't do it defensively. So that's what I would say to him. You know, what are your priorities? This is what, this is the tea. I have 50% of my time. That's, you know, half a day. What are your priorities and how, and how would you like me to help, you know, update you on my progress? Communication is crucial Mark.

Mark Graban (19m 17s):

Yes. For sure. So I wanted to ask you to elaborate on one other idea. So there's a couple of different things that you've said here today. Do you know the movie Office Space? So one of the things you don't think of, you talked, it's been a long time, it's it? You know, the movie generally I think has aged. Well, it's been like 20 years since its release, but you mentioned having two bosses, like, so the one character, Peter Gibbons says something to the effect of, you know, I have seven different bosses. So when I make a mistake, I hear about it from second, which is a different kind of corporate corporate health. But I think this is so many talking about the thing I wanted you to elaborate on was the idea of, you know, you want to make sure you enjoy what you're doing.

Mark Graban (20m 4s):

And I, and I think there was a conversation between Peter and his neighbor, where Peter is trying to figure out what he, he hates working at this company. It's soul sucking, what should he do next? And, you know, I think somebody says, are the points brought up about, you know, you should, you should do what you love. And I think it's the neighbor who says like, man, that's garbage. You know, I said, no, no that's BS because nobody would want to be a garbage man because they love collecting garbage. Or I've, I've kind of butchered, I've made a mistake and trying to recount. So, I mean, what, what, what are your thoughts around, you know, this idea of follow your passion, or at least as you stated that you should be able to enjoy what you're doing.

Lori Baker-Schena (20m 43s):

You know, we're not all lucky enough to follow our passions, but we have to figure out the passion of each of our jobs. And we all are working for a service or a company that provides something. So in the case of a garbage man, if it wasn't for garbage people, we would be living in a very smelly, awful, dirty world. I think one of the key people in my, my world is a garbage person.

Mark Graban (21m 14s):

If you've ever lived somewhere where there's a garbage strike, you know, the effect of that…

Lori Baker-Schena (21m 17s):

Televisions, it's horrible. I mean, if, even if they skip our house one week, it's, you know, I'm flipping out. So, so if I was to go into that organization, I would empower garbage people say, you know what? You are providing an incredibly important business business and a service that people super need. You are really contributing to humanity and to our quality of life. And when you go into a company and you tell them that their mission is bigger than just driving a truck, but really contributing to humanity that is encouraging. And it helps bring joy to employees and joy to, you know, the, the entire company.

Lori Baker-Schena (21m 59s):

I work with a lot of colleges and universities. And I always say to like the admin staff, that you are helping people, young people have access to education. And, you know, during the day and the day, the day weeds, you know, you're just like, you just can't handle any of that. But if you raise up, if you elevate yourself and say, this is for a greater good, it really helps bring joy into your, your job. I also think another way to find joy in a job is to find out what your strengths are and find a job that you can use those strengths. For example, I'm a really good writer. And so I created a company where all I had to do was write, and I was a medical communications company, been for 33 years.

Lori Baker-Schena (22m 45s):

I have never, ever figured out how to do graphics or how to run a rep website or anything. And I, and I just let it go and I have an MBA and I still can't budget. Right. Okay. But I can write. So I've focused my, my work on writing and I found somebody to partner with me to offer websites. I found someone else department with me to do budgets. So I found my missing links with other people. And I brought that support around me. But if you can find your strength and figure out a career that matches it, you know, that is just the ultimate joy.

Mark Graban (23m 23s):

Yeah. Yeah. And I love that word, joy, you know, it makes me think of, there's a book called joy, Inc. Are you familiar with this, with this book? Yeah. So it's Richard Sheridan. He is the CEO of a company in Ann Arbor, Michigan software company called Menlo Innovations. And really very explicitly try to create a culture in the workplace where people can feel joy in the work. And a lot of that is being engaged. Like, you know, I've seen in manufacturing and I've seen in healthcare, people doing relatively menial jobs that can be engaged to, to spark their creativity.

Mark Graban (24m 6s):

And that's why continuous improvement is so important to me that it, it shows respect. And, you know, people might say, you know what, I'm doing the same thing over and over again, but I can find joy in finding ways to make the work easier. That's really powerful when you see that.

Lori Baker-Schena (24m 22s):

Yes, absolutely. There's joy to be found everywhere and we have to find joy Mark. We have to, and I've been my whole thing. Now my whole latest theme is pivot to the positive. It was every, day's a gift, which I still believe, but it's really important to pivot to the positive because it's our only choice being negative, never moved anybody forward. And I always talk about a coach of a, of a, let's say a basketball team. And the ref just gave him a really bad call or they just lost, you know, by a point or whatever's going on. And the, you never see a coach go, Oh, that just this sucks. And let's give up, you know, a good coach will continue to pivot to the positive.

Lori Baker-Schena (25m 5s):

And I know we're down. I know this sucks, but we're going to continue to do well. And we're going to, you know, conquer. That is the way we need to look at our lives. We can't, we can't be negative. So, so how to pivot to the positive, how to see the good, no matter what happens, no matter how much challenges, that's how I think you find real joy.

Mark Graban (25m 25s):

Yeah. And, and that's a powerful message I think, in these times. And I'm going, I'm going to throw one other thing at you here. Have you seen the show Ted Lasso?

Lori Baker-Schena (25m 32s):

Oh, I've heard of it. It's new, right? It's is it

Mark Graban (25m 36s):

Spent, it is wonderful. Ted Lasso. I I've mentioned it as my new obsession. I've mentioned it in a few episodes. You would love it because in the all 10 episodes of the first season are available. Now it's on Apple TV+, Apple TV. That's why

Lori Baker-Schena (25m 52s):

I haven't seen it yet. If you can get a free

Mark Graban (25m 54s):

Trial or, you know, for $5 for the month, you've convinced me my gosh, it is such a burst of, of positivity and it's and, and, and what can be, you know, you know, you know, kind of upsetting cynical time. It's just such a refreshing antidote in, in a lot of ways. So I, I I'll, I won't keep going on and on about it.

Lori Baker-Schena (26m 18s):

Wonderful. It's it's worth, it's now worth getting Apple TV+. They've got some really good shows on, so, yeah.

Mark Graban (26m 24s):

Yeah. So I was going to ask one other question, but I just want to throw one other thought at you. You've made me think of health systems, healthcare organizations, Cleveland clinic is one where they talk about everyone, a caregiver. So again, if we think back to, you know, the janitor or environmental services is the, the phrase that's used in healthcare, you know, I think the best health systems help, you know, the create that connection of like, you're not just going around emptying garbage cans, you're helping prevent infections, which is very true. And it's a powerful mission when everyone can realize, you know, there's a different hospital I visited and worked with where they had these signs are in the hospital.

Mark Graban (27m 9s):

You know, people working in nutritional services, you know, a poster with somebody, you know, talking about how the food they provide helps people heal. And I remember the one poster said, sometimes people want a milkshake and that makes them happier. And it's when you can see joy and work that that's, that's really great to see,

Lori Baker-Schena (27m 28s):

You know, Mark, I got to say that is right on the money. I was hospitalized for a post-cancer operation back in June, June, 2020. And those days you couldn't have any visitors in your hospital room. And so when the cleaning crew would come in, I, it was so good to see a human being because, you know, the nurses were stretched and you're, you know, the LVNs were stretched and it was so much fun to talk to people who are cleaning the room. You were just so grateful to see them. And, and so they, I'm sure they were trained to interact with patients because you're basically there all by yourself when you need that human contact. So, and I had some wonderful conversations and I think that adds a level of respect and also, you know, deepens their job.

Lori Baker-Schena (28m 14s):

And I think we can use that analogy across, across all sorts of industries that people, you know, people, my, my, my son's girlfriend got a job. I helping seniors at a thing called silver sneakers. And she talks to older people all day, like 65 and older, and, and they're lonely, you know, and she, you know, and she realizes that she is bringing a bright spot to them. So it's that elevation of even customer, customer service, cable people, a lot of people are plumbers. People don't see anybody. So I don't think anyone's ever talked about that, but it's really elevating what they're doing beyond just the services that they're giving.

Lori Baker-Schena (28m 55s):

And I think that is where the joy comes.

Mark Graban (28m 59s):

Yeah. And, you know, there are some hospitals that have put in like literally robotic systems that go around and deliver supplies to different parts of the hospital. And, and one reason I don't like seeing that is that robotic cart can't stop. And can't smile at somebody as they go by that cart. Can't give directions. If somebody looks confused and needs some help, like those are, those are additional human elements that may or may not be a part of the formal job description. And I think we need to embrace that and not drum that out of our workplaces,

Lori Baker-Schena (29m 36s):

Especially in the days when you can't have visitors or we're social distancing. It's so true, Mark. That's just, that's very profound.

Mark Graban (29m 48s):

Well, thanks. There's one other question though, Lori, I wanted to ask you, and this is something that way we had a chance to chat. This topic came up, you know, the theme here, it's all about learning from mistakes, being open about mistakes, you know, but that, isn't always the case. Do you use the phrase when we had chatted before the shame of failure? I was wondering if you could tell us what you think about that.

Lori Baker-Schena (30m 15s):

Thank you, Mark. You know, one of the biggest heartbreaks for me is the way society shames failure. And it starts when you're young, but you see it all through, you know, you go on Twitter. I mean, social media, everything. If somebody makes a mistake, no matter how small or how large there is a public shaming. And I think, Oh, there's a whole generation of students. I think millennials are victims of this who was parents did not allow them to fail. And that helicopter parent thing happened. And so what happened with these students is that when they did fail, they didn't know how to cope with the failure.

Lori Baker-Schena (30m 57s):

And when you get to college, I love teaching college. First of all, parents aren't allowed to call you. So the student has to talk to you. You never get in California is not even legal for a parent to call a professor, which I see the best cause these kids, you know, they've never, you know, they don't have their parents to help. Right. And I think generation Z is different, but the millennials there were, there were like this, you know? So, so they're, don't, they're not prepared to fail. And the, and the shame of failure that you could see, it was bad. The problem with that is that if we don't fail, we never learn. And, and with I, you, we have, I would love to see a society where we fail, fail.

Lori Baker-Schena (31m 45s):

There's someone who says they fail fast and get up fast. You know, we, we, we do it and we understand that that's part of our evolution as people. And that's how we learn and that we're not allowing that to happen. So I would love it. It's my fantasy to see failure embraced failure that embraced that we learned from, and that we learn, you know, it's interesting. I was, I was telling somebody, we don't want to see a basketball game where every bit, every ball goes into the basket or a football game where every, every plays a touchdown or a baseball game where everybody gets a hit, that would be incredibly boring.

Lori Baker-Schena (32m 26s):

The, the real joy of sports is when people don't make a don't do well. And that just a real great analogy. We don't want either so much to learn so much depth when people make mistakes. And also we don't really that whole idea of someone being perfect. Perfect is born. You don't want to go to have a drink with someone who's got the perfect life, the perfect family, the perfect job, the perfect house. I mean, I would, that would last five minutes. I'm out, you know, the perfect path. You know, there's nothing to talk about that the humanity comes from people who aren't perfect, but who are really learning how to grow and be. And so that, that's why I love, I love your podcast because my favorite mistake, really that whole title puts it in perspective because it can, a mistake can be a favorite mistake.

Lori Baker-Schena (33m 17s):

I mean, I think it's revolutionary Mark. I mean, no kidding. I just think that whole idea is so important to embrace and to be easy on ourselves and learn from our mistakes and go from there.

Mark Graban (33m 30s):

Yeah. Well, thank you. And, and, and that was very, very well said. And I think you give everyone a lot of food for thought there to think about yeah. What we can do to, you know, kind of help change the culture either in our workplace or even more broadly, we're all human. We all make mistakes. I make them all day long. I'm aware of it. I don't beat myself up over it, or I'm trying to say, you know, what, if I can, I can admit it. I can learn from it. I can move on. Instead of stewing about it, like personally, I found it helpful to post a message on social media, about a mistake I made, I get it. I always share it and I move on

Lori Baker-Schena (34m 9s):

And I, you know, it just, it's amazing that if I didn't make mistakes, I wouldn't be where I am. You know, and, and I still remember some of the bigger mistakes and it just, you look back. I had a wonderful mentor who has since passed, but he once said to me, what's it going to matter a hundred years from now? And that as a young person, that really helped keep everything in perspective for me.

Mark Graban (34m 30s):

Yeah. Well, Lori, thank you for sharing your story and perspectives and everything with the audience here today. So our guests has been Lori Baker-Schena a her website. You can find more about her at www dot And then is there a separate website for, I didn't ask you anything more about the lead her ship consortium.

Lori Baker-Schena (34m 54s):

Yeah. So it's, there's no dot. Yeah. Yeah. That's so th there's it's You got to get the, her in there also get to someone else's interesting website. And that is the, the training we give specifically to women just because it's interesting. There is I think, big differences in how women are navigate the workplace. So.

Mark Graban (35m 19s):

All right. Very good. Well, Lori, thank you so much. It's been a real pleasure talking to you and getting to know you a little bit here through the podcast. Thanks for joining us.

Lori Baker-Schena (35m 27s):

Thank you so much, Mark. Take good care.

Mark Graban (35m 31s):

Thanks again to our guest, Lori Baker-Schena again, you can find show notes for this at 48. Thanks for subscribing. If you've already done. So please rate and review us if you have the chance on your favorite app of choice, and I want this podcast inspires you to reflect on your own mistakes and how you can learn from them or turn them into a positive I've had listeners tell me they've started being more open and honest about mistakes and their work. And they're trying to create a workplace culture where it's safe to speak up about problems because that leads to more improvement in better business results.

Mark Graban (36m 12s):

If you have feedback or a story to share, you can email me And again, our website is

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.